DNC 2016 photo from Creative Commons.
DNC 2016 photo from Creative Commons.

DNC bonuses, whose money is it anyway?


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The release of the financial report on the funds left over by the Democratic National Convention is leading to the questions of who rightfully should have received the leftover money from the convention.

The report shows that the Philadelphia 2016 Host Committee for the DNC received roughly $1 million in bonus checks, a source of tension since much of the largest donation received by the DNC- $10 million - consisted of taxpayer donations.

Donations come from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, a state organization that uses public money to “improve the quality of life for Pennsylvania citizens while assuring transparency and accountability in the expenditure of public funds,” according to the website.

The host committee was chaired by Former Governor Ed Rendell who told that he had originally planned to give the staff donations as long as the event had money left over.

Totaling close to $86 million in funds raised, the committee used the rest of the funds to donate generously -  $1.2 million in grants and more than $800,000 in municipal services refunds to the city - to the various entities in the city including Visit Philly, the Independence Visitor Center and the School District’s Right Books Campaign.

The bonuses, totaling $934,767 according to Philadelphia Magazine, have the top bonuses coming in at $310,000 and $220,000 going to the executive director Kevin Washo and the Chief Finance Officer Jason O Malley respectively.

The dispute over the money is being led by Governor Tom Wolf who has asked the state auditor general to take a closer look at the money.

Gov. Wolf is asking the state auditor general review the $10 million that state taxpayers donated to the Philadelphia 2016 Host Committee last year for the Democratic National Convention.

Wolf told the Philadelphia Inquirer he was seeking a second look and wished the committee had approached the state when learning of the surplus of funds. "I am disappointed that when the host committee discovered there was a surplus, the first call was not to the commonwealth of Pennsylvania to discuss returning the money to the taxpayers," Wolf said in a statement released Sunday.

"The commonwealth supports large events that have an economic benefit to Pennsylvania and the region, but when there is leftover funding, that money should be returned to taxpayers. I am disappointed that the surplus was instead spent on bonuses and grants."

In comparison, the host committee only paid people during the convention and up to a month after the Republican National Convention, as reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer.


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